Expand Your Horizons
Traveling can expand your horizons and perspective not only physically but mentally. There is a quote from the English philosopher and physician John Locke (1632-1704) that says, If you spend too much time in one place you can use up its educational value. In order to grow you need to change. Now more than ever, with uncertain world events and escalating costs, creative planning has become absolutely necessary in planning and executing travel.
There are ways to expand your horizons with travel that are absolutely possible with a bit of creativity. Just in case the dollar signs are flashing before your eyes, there are ways to make this happen on a limited budget. But there are also many options that do cost but can be very worth the investment experience, especially educationally. We will be covering different ways to travel, including virtual opportunities, fun places to visit, planning ahead and some additional ideas and resources we hope will spark your imagination.
Ways to Travel
The current type of travel Greg and I do is a lot different than the travel we did while raising our three sons. We were on a much tighter budget then and usually spent vacations camping, rarely flying anywhere. Today, I prefer some sort of cabin and indoor restroom and shower, which I’d call glamping more than camping. However, our camping years were great fun when we all helped to pitch a tent and built a campfire from scratch. Our boys didn’t feel they missed out on anything. In fact, those experiences brought us closer together to create fun memories and mishaps, fortunately none too serious! We created a couple camping boxes full of our supplies so it made it easier to pack when also corralling a family.
You don’t have to get in your car or on a plane to experience the joy of travel. You can access wineries and other destinations right from your home media player. There are many virtual platforms with a myriad of options to choose from that will not only transport you visually to different lands but educate at the same time with a unique experience. Some wine courses are free, where you furnish your own wine and atmosphere. Others will ship a variety of wine appropriate to the particular course right to your front door. Insider reviews twenty-four of the best virtual wine tastings here: Wine Tasting. The Great Courses have a number of virtual travel destinations, linking history and travel in the form of courses that are easy to access for a variety of budgets. This area really expanded during the shutdowns, so do your research!Immersing yourself in a book is another great way to travel and learn history through historical novels. Don’t discount the value of curling up with a good story. Reading also creates a diversion, giving you a break mentally from more intense and intricate tasks. Mark Twain (1835-1910), writer, entrepreneur, publisher and humorist who wrote books as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Prince and the Pauper summed up travel abroad in a great quote: Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrowmindedness. A voyage abroad teaches acceptance and humility.
Fun Places to Visit
We’d never be able to list all our ideas for travel in one article, but we can give you prompts to hopefully help you discover new ideas. You can also access more travel Ideas in a previous article here: Travel Ideas. Asking those who have traveled to different destinations is also one of the best ways to discover new opportunities. You may be surprised how fast people open up about travel ideas if you ask! Most love to talk about their trip.
You may not be a history buff but as you read or work with your children or grandchildren, your imagination may be sparked to visit different areas as they study history and geography. Our national parks (see: National Parks directory) are a wonderful way to add adventure to your life and the beauty you experience outdoors is always refreshing and awe-inspiring. Most public campgrounds now take reservations up to a year in advance, so planning ahead is absolutely necessary!
There is place for spontaneity, but it is usually best to plan ahead for travel, especially for larger trips. This has become even more important with current travel challenges as many flights have been cancelled by airlines to fill popular flight times. Prices are usually lower if you book early, though there are last-minute deals available if you are flexible. Also, if you’re flexible on those flights that have been over-booked, which is happening more and more, some airlines offer major perks for changing your flight last-minute. This could add up to another completely free flight!
Planning ahead increases the excitement and expectations of a trip, which is part of the fun. It’s also beneficial in lining up extra care for pets or a home while away. When we got our dog Amelia, we suddenly felt like we had another child that needed care while we were away. But the joy she brings is worth the trouble!
If you don’t take the time to plan travel, it may not happen at all. On my yearly calendar, I block off days for travel, especially any tours and conferences, and schedule work projects and events around those dates. It’s easy to let the fear of missing out (FOMO) take over, especially if in a gig situation for work. However, when looking at life from a greater perspective that no one knows the future, it’s important to take advantage of the opportunities in front of us now.
Additional Ideas and Resources
Depending on your stage of life, you may be traveling with kids or without kids. Many places accommodate both, though the scheduled times and events may be different. We did take our sons horseback riding while camping but were never to the place financially where we felt we could spring for a dude ranch. However, depending on your budget, as grandparents that opportunity could avail itself more easily to spend time with your extended family when there are more resources available. The Dude Rancher’s Association was formed in 1926. This is not an inclusive list of all dude ranches, but a good place to start.
For active vacations, most organizations will provide the activity, but you can choose how active you want to be. There are numerous organizations like Backroads with hiking, biking and canoeing. REI biking tours and adventures, VBT bike tours for here and abroad and many more. I am booking mostly active vacations as Greg and I are still in fairly good shape and I want to stay in shape as long as possible. There will come a time for more sedentary trips!
If you’ve ever inquired about a cruise, you are probably already receiving multiple cruise brochures every other day. There’s Viking Cruises, which has wonderful small ships that sail during the night so you can hike and explore during the day, National Geographic, Disney, etc… In fact, once you get on anyone’s travel list you may find yourself overwhelmed with opportunities to go everywhere! And if you still need ideas, here’s a free booklet to download: 1,000 Places to see in the U.S. and Canada Before You Die Enjoy!
Planning ahead increases the excitement and expectations of a trip, which is part of the fun. If you don’t take the time to plan travel, it may not happen at all.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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